Paulinho: What Messi Told Me Before Barca Move
Paulinho: What Lionel Messi Told Me Before FC Barcelona Move
Controversial FC Barcelona signing Paulinho has revealed what Lionel Messi told him before his move to the Catalan giants.
The 29-year-old, who was labeled a Premier League flop after failing to convince at Tottenham Hotspur, joined the Catalan giants for €40 million (R634 million) in the recent transfer window.
Considering his advanced age, Premier Legaue history and the high transfer fee, many Barcelona fans were sceptical of the move, but it appears Messi was keen to see the midfielder join his club, as his conversation with the Argentine during a clash between their national teams reveals.
"I was getting ready to take a free-kick in a game between Brazil and Argentina," Paulinho told El Periodico.
"Suddenly, I saw Messi behind me getting closer bit by bit, and he says 'Are we going to Barcelona or not?' I said, 'If you want to bring me there, you can. I'll go.'
"I was so nervous I told Willian, 'You take the free-kick.'
"After that match, I exchanged shirts with Messi. He didn't let me take the free-kick, but I'm here."
Brazil and Argentina met in a friendly in Melbourne, Australia, on 9 June, while Paulinho's Barcelona transfer was announced on 14 August.
The midfielder has since scored two goals and assisted another strike in eight appearances for the Catalan giants, who have begun the campaign with seven wins from their first seven games.
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